I met up with my family for a camping excursion last weekend. The first day started off nice… we had a good chicken dinner and some cold drinks. Then all hell broke loose. In the form of weather. My parents stayed in their RV while my sister A and her dog slept in one tent and R & me in another. If someone had told me that we were actually sleeping in a thundercloud, I would’ve believed them. It was very scary. I felt bad for my sister who is a self -admitted non-tent camper. We were afraid she’d never come back.
When we ate breakfast the next morning, we each had gone through waves of panic through the storm. My mom thought a tornado would go through, my dad swore he heard a mud slide happening, and I waffled between lightening striking a tree onto our tents if a flash flood didn’t hit us first.
The next day, we braved the muddy paths and hiked around the area. At one point while waiting for us outside the visitor center, my mom (in her sunglasses) had both the hiking stick and the dog beside her. She laughed at herself wondering if people that passed by thought she was blind.
3 blind mice
A says her dog looks down in shame b/c of the type of leash she has to wear.
Midway through our hike, we ended up at a pond that offered paddleboat rides. We buddied up and spent the next half hour paddling around looking at turtles’ heads popping up and avoiding going over the waterfall’s edge. R swears we wouldn’t have gone over, but I’d rather not confirm that.
We took a little rest at our campsite for lunch and staring at other campers, when we decided to go for a horseback ride.
My friend K will be happy to know that I am completely over my horse-riding phobia. R and I would even hold our horses back every once in awhile to try and get them to trot. That’s how far along I’ve come. If you don’t remember, while studying in Spain with my then roommate K (back in 2002), we took a horseback ride through the Andalucian mountains. Little did we know that our horses were the only two that didn’t like each other. So as we were gingerly walking on the veeeeeeery edge of the mountain’s path, my horse got all up in K’s horse’s business if you know what I mean. Well she didn’t like that very much and tried to buck at me. My horse did the only logical thing possible — she ran down the side of the mountain. I can still remember ducking under a tree branch and zig-zagging between boulders. K will back me up on that. Eventually she stopped and one of the guides had to run down (on foot) to lead us back up. You can see a pic of me on that horse here. I was all smiles, so you know it was a “before” photo.
After that experience, R and I went to Park City, UT for our honeymoon and I took my first step in conquering this fear. I was stiff, but the overall experience was enjoyable. I’m now to the point where I’d like to ride bareback behind William Wallace in an open field. (Can you tell I just watched Braveheart last night?)
A had her own scary horse story way back from Girl Scouts. She did a good job considering she hasn’t ridden since Girl Scouts, but I don’t think she’ll be riding again for awhile.
Afterwards, we rewarded ourselves with a little steak and dominoes. Luckily the weather was not as bad Saturday night and we managed some good hours of sleep. It was so nice to be outside with my family all weekend. My type of outing.